Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, is back solving new cases in the USA Today bestselling series set in Victorian England.
Inspector Treadles, Charlotte Holmes’s friend and collaborator, has been found locked in a room with two dead men, both of whom worked with his wife at the great manufacturing enterprise she has recently inherited.
Rumors fly. Had Inspector Treadles killed the men because they had opposed his wife’s initiatives at every turn? Had he killed in a fit of jealous rage, because he suspected Mrs. Treadles of harboring deeper feelings for one of the men? To make matters worse, he refuses to speak on his own behalf, despite the overwhelming evidence against him.
Charlotte finds herself in a case strewn with lies and secrets. But which lies are to cover up small sins, and which secrets would flay open a past better left forgotten? Not to mention, how can she concentrate on these murders, when Lord Ingram, her oldest friend and sometime lover, at last dangles before her the one thing she has always wanted?
USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas decided years ago that her goal in life is to write every kind of book she enjoys reading. Thus far she has published romance, fantasy, mystery, young adult, and three books inspired by the martial arts epics she grew up devouring. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Times and National Public Radio.
A Study in Scarlet Women, A Conspiracy in Belgravia, and The Hollow of Fear, the first three entries in her gender-bending Lady Sherlock historical mystery series, are all NPR best books of the year. The Magnolia Sword, her 2019 release, is the first young adult retelling of the original Ballad of Mulan in the English language.
Sherry emigrated from China at age 13 and English is her second language.
“Sherry Thomas has done the impossible and crafted a fresh, exciting new version of Sherlock Holmes. From the carefully plotted twists to the elegant turns of phrase, A Study in Scarlet Women is a splendid addition to Holmes’s world. This book is everything I hoped it would be, and the next adventure cannot come too soon!” —Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling author
“Thomas weaves a lush, intricate fantasy world around a gorgeous romance that kept me riveted until the very last page. What a breathtaking journey!” (Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series )
"Sherry Thomas is the most powerfully original historical romance author writing today."—Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author
This is my first book in this series. I wouldn't have chosen to start here, but this is an assigned book - on a deadline, I've already missed- so I dug in, hoping for the best.
Despite missing out on some interesting history between the recurring characters, I thoroughly enjoyed this excellent locked room mystery. I had been curious about this series for a long time, so I'm glad I finally had the chance to check it out. I will definitely continue on with the series and hopefully, I will be able to cram in the previous four books before the next release, so I'll understand all the nuances hinted at in this installment.
If you are following this series, I'm sure you'll find this book to be a worthy addition. For me, I love locked room mysteries and this one was a highly entertaining head-scratcher.
If you love historical and British mysteries or like the various Sherlockian pastiches, then you will probably want to check this series out! If this book is any indication, I think this could become one of my favorites!!
Murder on Cold Street (Lady Sherlock #5) by Sherry Thomas (Author), Kate Reading (Narrator)
I have been so very lucky that, once I found this series, I have been able to enjoy the audio versions of the five books in the series, one after another. Now I've finished book #5 and will have to wait about nine months (a guess) before book #6 will become available to me. Once again, I'm going to opt for the audio version because Kate Reading IS the characters in these books. She is so very good and I'm going to miss her voice, while I wait for the next book in this series. With all the turmoil of the world, visiting Sherlock (Charlotte) Holmes and company has been a wonderful way to step back from the news of the day.
This story starts a devastating revelation. Inspector Treadles has been arrested for murder! The case looks airtight because he was found locked in a room, holding his gun over the bodies of two dead men. Inspector Treadles won't talk, won't defend himself. Things do not look good.
Of course, Mrs. Treadles comes to Sherlock Holmes to beseech him to clear her husband's name. The cases in these books are always so convoluted and twisted that I don't even try to figure out what really happened. Usually, by the time we get towards the end of each book, I'm suspecting every Lord, Lady, their footman, and their scully maid, and have discounted every one of them because I know a thousand red herrings when I see them. Charlotte has such a talented and intelligent team of people who help her with each case but even they wait for Charlotte to put everything together, with her uncanny sixth sense and ability to discard emotion while ferreting out the suspect or suspects, in each crime.
Lord Ingram and Charlotte are finally getting closer, in an agreeable and fulfilling way. The food theme of this story seems to be cake, lots of cake. I'm glad that I can't gain weight by reading about food because food plays a big part in Charlotte's thoughts and she often must have more cake to fuel her detecting skills. I think there will be ten books in this series and now I'm going to have to wait for one book a year, to finish this fine character driven series.
In Murder on Cold Street, we meet up again with the fearless and whip-smart Charlotte Holmes, who is now operating a successful consulting detective business under the assumed name of Sherlock Holmes, her non-existent brother. In this installment, Inspector Treadles, a colleague of Holmes' at Scotland Yard, has been found in a locked room with two dead men. He refuses to speak on his behalf, even with overwhelming evidence against him. His wife has beseeched Sherlock Holmes to find out the truth of what really happened.
One of the reasons I enjoy this series is the assortment of fun characters in here. Charlotte is as sharp as ever, while lusting after desserts and Lord Ingram. Lord Ingram, for his part, helps with the investigation, while also presenting an intriguing offer for Charlotte to take their relationship to the next level. I adore the impish and witty way the romance between those two is captured in this series, and this story continues to delight me on that front. And the ever-capable Mrs. Watson and Miss Redmayne are on hand too to contribute to the investigation, and it's wonderful to see all their camaraderie while working to exonerate Inspector Treadles.
This story also further develops one of my favorite themes of the series, which is its exploration of strong women at a time when society rejects them as anything other than ornaments and household administrators. The male characters in here slowly come to realizations about the women in their lives and the obstructions and naysaying they must face every day, just for being female. It's both heartwarming to read about, and a little bit disheartening to realize that we haven't progressed much past this in the centuries since then.
As for the murder mystery itself, it's a fun one, but don't expect any jaw-dropping or heart-stopping moments. It progresses along in its cozy way, collecting clues and unearthing secrets, until it reach its natural and satisfying conclusion. This is one of my favorite mystery series at the moment, and I'm already looking forward to the next book.
I’ve been putting off writing this review for almost two weeks now. This is the first Sherry Thomas book that I haven’t given five stars to, and it actually pains me a little.
For anyone who absolutely adores an author, like, truly thinks they’re a master of their craft and has all the confidence in the world that their work will stand the test of time, and then you read something from them you don’t love, you know how I feel right now.
I did not love this installment of the Lady Sherlock series. Seeing as how this is my favorite ongoing series, these three stars are a pretty big disappointment.
A lot of other readers criticized the first book in this series as being too slow. In fact, that’s the chief complaint I’ve seen of any installment. I have never felt that way about any of these books. I have a long attention span and am a self-confessed history nerd, so where some people were put off by the minutiae of 19th century London, I was drawn in by it.
This book was too slow, even for me.
There’s no easy way to say it: the pacing is damn near glacial. Every microscopic aspect of the case is examined in frustratingly close detail. Even ones that felt extraneous or unimportant. Even ones that were extraneous or unimportant.
All of the witnesses are lying, so they’re interviewed, interrogated, and then interviewed again, dragged toward the truth haltingly by Holmes and her companions.
I think part of the issue is the person that Holmes is trying to prove innocent is a completely unsympathetic side character. I was sort of glad to see him moldering in a jail cell.
There is also very little movement on any of the overarching plots within the book. The two love affairs I most looked forward to reading about felt stagnated. The big bad villain of the previous books was barely mentioned until the very end, and even then, it felt a bit rushed. And the fate of a rather important side character who fell into peril in the last book is totally excluded.
Where is he? How is he?
All in all, this felt like a layover.
Like a pause in the story of Charlotte Holmes and her companions. And I think that has something to do with the momentum built in the previous installments. In those, you know the characters are drawing closer and closer to something dangerous. Something that not even Charlotte’s genius might see them safely through.
There was action, danger. Several times throughout I read at breakneck speed, terrified that something was about to happen to one of my beloved characters.
This book fell flat compared to them. Between the slow pacing and the utter lack of any sort of tension, I was bored while reading most of it.
One last thing I need to mention is that the ARC we received of this was not in great shape, editing wise. Whole paragraphs were incorrectly italicized. Words were missing. Shifts in perspective weren’t properly marked.
I’m chalking it up to Covid. I’ve seen more of these issues from big publishing houses in the past few months than ever before, and I really hope they’re fixed in the finished copies.
So, no, I didn’t love this book. But I still love Sherry Thomas. I still believe in her wholeheartedly, and I am still going to be desperate for the next book in the series to be released.
I've given this an A- at AAR, so that's 4.5 stars rounded up.
And I like the UK cover better than the US one ;) Charlotte is blonde not brunette.
Murder on Cold Street, the fifth book in Sherry Thomas’ acclaimed Lady Sherlock series picks up immediately where the previous book (The Art of Theft) left off, so if you haven’t read it yet, then you might want to wait to read this review until you have. In fact, there will probably be spoilers for other titles in the series here, and while in some respects these novels are standalone mysteries, the character relationships and some plot arcs are ongoing and you’ll get more out of the later books if you’ve read at least some of the earlier ones.
Right at the end of The Art of Theft, after Charlotte, Lord Ingram, Mrs. Watson and Livia had returned from their latest escapades in France, a buoyant Lord Ingram, finally resolved on putting himself out there as regards his feelings for Charlotte, was diverted from his purpose by the news that his friend, Inspector Robert Treadles, had been arrested on suspicion of murder. While it’s true that Lord Ingram’s friendship with the inspector had cooled a little in recent months on account of the policeman’s disapproval of Charlotte’s being the brains behind the formidable Sherlock Holmes, she and Lord Ingram are no less determined to do everything they can to discover the truth and prove the Inspector’s innocence.
This is going to be rather difficult however, as comes to light when Mrs. Treadles arrives in Baker Street to engage Sherlock to work on her husband’s behalf. She explains that he was found covered in blood, gun in hand, in a locked room with two men who had been shot to death, and that as far as Inspector Brighton – who is in charge of the investigation – is concerned, Treadles is guilty and it isn’t going to take much to convict him.
At this initial meeting, it’s obvious to both Charlotte and Lord Ingram that Mrs. Treadles is holding something back from them, and any pressure they try to exert causes Mrs. Treadles to insist ever more steadfastly that there’s nothing else they need to be aware of. They tacitly agree not to pursue this further (for now), but know they have to get to the bottom of whatever secret she’s keeping if they’re to gain a proper understanding as to what might have happened on the night of the murders.
Murder in Cold Street is a clever locked-room mystery, and the author keeps us on our toes as we follow Charlotte and Lord Ingram unearthing clues and suspects as they work tirelessly to prove Treadles’ innocence. We learned in an earlier book in the series that while Mr. and Mrs. Treadles were a devoted couple, things had become a little strained between them of late, ever since she inherited the family business, Cousins Manufacturing, on the recent death of her brother. Alice – Mrs. Treadles – an intelligent, educated woman, was keen to take up the reins of the business, but her husband wasn’t pleased at her moving beyond the “domestic sphere”. The two dead men were related to Cousins in some way – one was an employee, the other a former business partner who had also been a mentor to Mrs. Treadles – and when Charlotte suggests that perhaps the deaths are tied to Cousins somehow, a closer look into the company business reveals things that may well have been worth killing over.
As always, the mystery is clever and well-executed, and I really enjoyed watching ‘the gang’ – Charlotte, Lord Ingram, Mrs. Watson and Penelope – all working together and playing off one another. Even better is the amount of time that Charlotte and Lord Ingram spend together; I know, I know, these are mainly historical mysteries, but Ms. Thomas injected so much delicious sexual tension and palpable longing between the couple right from the first book that I – along with many fans, I’m sure –have been eagerly lapping up even the tiniest signs of romantic attachment between them! I won’t say too much, but there are significant progressions here; Charlotte, always so unperturbable and not at all romantic is displaying some vulnerability when it comes to Lord Ingram, and there’s a greater realisation on her part of his reasons for holding back from her for so long. As for Lord Ingram, well, he’s always been completely swoonworthy, but Ms. Thomas somehow makes him even more dreamy; we’re in his head a fair bit in this book and his thoughts and reflections about his past and his relationship with Charlotte are interesting and insightful. When it comes to their working relationship, they’re so in sync that that they almost don’t need to talk at all, and I loved that. He’s every bit as shrewd and observant as Charlotte is, he’s her intellectual equal as well as a man in love who is ready to accept her, foibles, eccentricities and all, in whatever way she will accept him. And it’s fairly clear Charlotte is coming to realise something along the same lines. She prides herself on logic and clear-headed calculation… but Lord Ingram is occupying her thoughts more and more frequently, in a way she’s so far reserved for the finest madeira or plum cake (!)
Throughout the story, Sherry Thomas deftly makes some very pertinent points about societal injustice in the Victorian era without resorting to lengthy polemics or info-dumps. Mrs. Treadles’ difficulties in assuming control of Cousins Manufacturing due to the misogyny displayed by the all-male management team made me want to spit, and the obliviousness of an otherwise kind and decent man to the fact that his mixed-race niece was frequently made deliberately uncomfortable was both subtle and hard-hitting at the same time.
So, why the A- and not a flat-out A, especially considering I enjoyed so many things about Murder on Cold Street? Well, I have to admit that I’m getting a little bit frustrated with the Moriarty plotline in the sense that after five books, I still have very little idea what he’s up to in the way of a Master Plan. He’s this nebulous baddie pulling strings somewhere in the wings, and okay, so he’s a master criminal with his finger in many dastardly pies, but even though, at the end of this book, Lord Ingram warns Charlotte that Moriarty must consider her an enemy now, he’s not inspiring the same sense of dread in me that he obviously is in the characters. Again, perhaps that’s my fault and I’ve missed (or forgotten) something important. Even so, Murder on Cold Street is a readable, clever and compelling addition to the series and should definitely be on any historical mystery fan’s Wish List.
Another great addition to the Charlotte Holmes series. In this book, nothing and no one is (are?) who they seem. Even our dessert indulging savant and her Lord friend find themselves in a new place.
Great mystery, love all the strong women in this one. My only complaint was not enough of Olivia who has grown to be my favorite character. Although Thomas sets up the next book admirably as Livy finds herself finally free (at least temporarily) from the clenches of her mother.
Another instalment of the Lady Sherlock series. Sherry Thomas is such a fabulous writer and these are always engaging (though the editing really is not good enough for an author of her calibre, and the publisher seriously needs to wake up here). Interesting mystery and great characters. The personal plots aren't advanced much (it takes place over just a few days), which is killing me because I want more of the romances, dammit. *is greedy*
The Lady Sherlock series truly has become one of my most favorite series for very good reason. It is always so well executed, so well drawn out, with characters that are both real and lovable that you can't help getting sucked into the story, into the mystery, and into the very lives of each character.
I absolutely adore this rag tag group of people, their relationships with one another, their back stories, how they interact, how they love, how they take care of one another and of course, the mysteries themselves. It truly is brilliantly done.
And this latest installment has ramped up everything! So much more. More danger, more mystery, more romance (woot!!), just MORE. I absolutely loved it and couldn't put it down. I both wanted to devour and make it last forever. I can not wait for more in this wonderful world and time that Thomas has created.
*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
This series is always stellar when the investigation has intense emotional stakes for the reader (here, Inspector Treadles has been accused of murder). Possibly my second favorite in the series after THE HOLLOW OF FEAR.
Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
It's the festive Christmas season of holly, ivy, plum pudding, and a murder that might prevent Holmes' friend, Inspector Treadles from celebrating ever again. Each installment of the Lady Sherlock series is awaited with great anticipation and never fail to deliver.
Murder on Cold Street is the fifth of the Lady Sherlock series of historical mysteries that work best when read in order.
After the daring deeds of their last case, Charlotte Holmes, Lord Ingram, Mrs. Watson, and the others hope to celebrate a quiet Christmas with loved ones in the lull between cases, but Mrs. Treadles' tearful face and shaking fear have them scrambling to find answers to a murder investigation with the silent Inspector Treadles as the only suspect and holding the 'smoking gun' no less.
I loved seeing Holmes and company scramble into action on behest of a friend against the setting of Victorian London during the holidays. Holmes brilliantly splits interest between the case which she suspects must have to do with Mrs. Treadle's family business and her developing relationship with Lord Ingram. All through the series there has been the relationship push-pull between Charlotte and Lord Ingram as they work around past barriers and the barrier of Charlotte's fallen woman persona as well as her unorthodox choices for her life against his confusion about tradition, respectability, and a failed marriage. The struggle was over and it was neat to see them as friends, cohorts, and lovers.
Their relationship is hitting its stride as is the professional roles Charlotte, Mrs. Watson, and even Olivia as writer are coming together. For this case, Charlotte orchestrated, but everyone took their assignments and worked hard and fast to get to the truth in order to save Inspector Treadles. Olivia is heartsick over the loss of Mr. Marbleton and also being the only daughter left at home stuck between her toxic parents, but she writes to escape and shows she is clever in her own way.
The heart of this story delved into Mrs. Treadles' position as owner of her family's manufacturing business and struggling to get the managers and supervisors to take her seriously because she's a woman. Even more painful was to have Inspector Treadles struggle so hard to see his wife in this role and accept it. This has been an ongoing thread for a couple of books and came to a crisis point in their marriage and also with this murder. Mrs. Treadles came into her own and it was brilliant to see. There is also another woman who faced adversity for her mixed race and interests in science who had a secondary story tucked in with the Treadles' situation.
The case is twisting, but I love how the author gives it layers and warmth by the background or other primary stories swirling around it. The characters, including the villains, are as important as the mystery and the historical setting. It all balances to provide a rich, emotional experience for the reader.
The end of the case brought closure for the Treadles, but left the series plot thread about the Moriarity conflict ready to be picked up in a future installment as well as some ongoing personal storylines.
This was satisfying through and through. I was disappointed to see the end arrive. Whether one is a fan of the Sherlock Holmes' world or one who appreciates Historical Mysteries, this series is not to be missed.
I rec'd this book from Berkley via Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.
how are you going to begin reading a series from the fifth installment and criticise choices made by the author about the main character and their relationships when you've purposely missed out on four books of development?
2020, first read: This series has me in a chokehold. Although not the most intriguing of mysteries, it did feel rather like an in between book and I didn’t mind that one bit. Even if it isn’t as great as previous ones i am addicted to the writing and this world so the experience is always gratuitous.
”Our friendship has never been a static entity. We have changed over the years and so has it. And it will continue to change in the coming days and years.”
Charlotte and Ash, ‘slow burn’, disapproving, flitting friends to lovers, are the centre of this story for me, and their interactions did not disappoint; I especially loved seeing Charlotte preen and become flustered around him, demanding and impatient.
”it isn’t change that we fear, but loss.”
On to the (next) mystery: Moriarty and Mr Marbleton!
Well this is a complex mystery with all sorts of associations from Charlotte Holmes' previous cases bubbling under the surface. Lord Ingram Ashburton and Mrs. Watson are of course up to their neck in the trouble. It's just prior to Christmas 1886. Inspector Robert Treadles has been accused of and arrested for murder, having been found by police in a room locked from the inside. They'd forced the door and found Inspector Treadles "barricaded ... behind the bedstead, his service revolver pointed at them Nearer to the door were ... two dead men and a fair bit of blood.” Lady Sherlock investigates and uncovers seemingly independent facts that need bringing together. Mrs Treadle has been having trouble with the male board of her company, Cousins Manufacturing, and one of the dead men, Mr. John Longstead, a longtime acquaintance of her father's had been helping her look into the company's financial dealings. The other, Mr. Ambrose Sullivan was an accountant and senior manager at Cousins, advising the Board. Meanwhile Lord Ingham has reached a decision about Charlotte. I love the way he adores her outrageous individuality. His amused description of her Christmas frock is wonderful. "He had become more or less inured to her taste in clothes...her gaudy wardrobe." The investigative path is complex, particularly as no one is telling the whole truth, including Mrs Treadle. Time is against Charlotte, especially as it’s rather cold, and a dogged Inspector is determined Treadle will be charged by Xmas Eve. Then there's Charlotte's younger sister Livia trapped in a less than satisfactory life with their mother Lady Holmes in their country home, still heartbroken about Moriaty's son. (Another twist!) As Charlotte unravels the mystery, along with Mrs Watson and Lord Ingham there are certainly some surprising details that come to light, but where is the proof? Another solid read in this addictive series from Sherry Thomas.
A Random House - Ballantine ARC via NetGalley Please note: Quotes taken from an advanced reading copy maybe subject to change
I was so ready to hate this but.. surprising no one more than me, I did not. I may actually even have liked this as much as book three? Maybe?
I'm feeling very anti-review this week but suffice it to say I liked thw twisty complexity and heartbreak of the murder and enjoyed the relationship growth that happened in the background. I am less enamoured of Charlotte's ceaseless quirkiness but I'm pretty sure I only saw one reference to Maximum Tolerable Chins. Thank goodness. That said I could've enjoyed a nice buzz had I taken a shot every time I saw the word cake.
My enthusiasm to carry on with this series is once again ignited and if nothing else that's the true win here. Looking forward to book six!
Sherry Thomas really has my number! Ever since I read A Study in Scarlet Women, I have been greedy for the next installment of the Charlotte Holmes story. She has done such a complete job of feminizing the whole Sherlock Holmes story, in such a delightful way.
Of course, if you're still reading the series at this point, you're also interested in Charlotte's relationship with Lord Ingram, which has ebbed and flowed during the course of the books. Thomas has been very skilled at bringing the two together, then drawing them apart again, maintaining the sexual tension quite nicely. Even though Ash seems to have decided where he stands on the matter, Thomas wrote this adventure as much too time consuming to allow him to do anything about it, drawing out the anticipation even further. I sometimes think that anticipation is half the fun, so I thoroughly approve of her methods.
I had been wanting to know more about the Treadles and I got my wish in spades with this book. I'm glad to see the Inspector continuing to look for ways to appreciate and support his wife. I am extra glad to see how Mrs. Watson's support helped Alice to assume her rightful role as head of her company. I wouldn't be surprised if they showed up in future volumes, but this was their book. Now I'm hoping that Miss Longford, introduced here, will be an ongoing character.
Livia got a little neglected, perhaps, this time around, but if the epilogue is any indication, she and Charlotte may be working on her problems when next we read about them. I'm getting sentimental as I get older, I want to see all these young people settled (and yet I dread the end of the series and the possibility of no further Charlotte Holmes stories).
I am thoroughly enjoying the series and look forward to the next. This one involves Inspector Treadles and Holmes and crew solving the mystery. I was kept entertained throughout the book. The mystery and the process were interesting. The ending was tied up a bit too quick. The romance was very much secondary. I think you will get the most enjoyment if you start with book 1
Charlotte Holmes is on the case when Inspector Treadles is found locked in a room with two dead men, both employees at the company his wife recently inherited. Tongues are wagging at the gossip that Inspector Treadles murdered the men in a jealous rage or possibly anger that they opposed the changes his wife was making within the company. Mrs. Treadles is certain her husband had nothing to do with the murders but there are secrets being kept that won't make it easy for Charlotte to find the truth. Her great powers of deduction help her to see past the white lies told and uncover shocking information. Meanwhile, in her personal life, Charlotte is shocked to find that Lord Ingram has become much more responsive to her needs.
I enjoy a good locked room mystery and this was yet another great installment in the Lady Sherlock series. I haven’t been reading these in order but it's pretty easy to jump in and get enough of the backstory to keep up to date. I really enjoyed the juicy secrets and discretion involved as Charlotte works to clear Inspector Treadles of the charges he faces.
I recommend this series to readers who enjoy historical fiction, retellings, mystery, and just a hint of romance.
Thanks to Berkley Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Murder on Cold Street is scheduled for release on October 6, 2020.
This mystery-with-a-touch-of-romance is almost perfect. Hence, five stars! It would be completely perfect if there had been just a bit more progress in the romance between Charlotte Holmes and Lord Ingram. Having been given a brief glimpse in the previous book, I did long for a bit more here.
Nevertheless, I highly recommend Murder in Cold Street, even though one truly should read the previous four books first.
Sherry Thomas, as I have said before, exhibits her genius in this series, and Kate Reading adds her own form of genius with a marvelous narration.
Murder, danger, secrets, and a dash of romance abound in this engaging locked room mystery. The pacing was quite slow at times, and a number of details in the case were rehashed to the point of tedium. But I love the relationships between the characters and their interactions. Charlotte Holmes is ferociously intelligent and a gem of a protagonist. Victorian London is vividly detailed, and the twists and turns of the mystery are cleverly plotted. This is a delightful reimagining of Sherlock Holmes.
Sherry Thomas is a reliably good writer and I've enjoyed everything she's written, including this most recent Holmes's edition to the Lady Sherlock series. Having said that, I'm generously giving this 4 stars. It fell a bit short for me, unfortunately. Maybe the biggest source of disappointment is that it didn't add much to the overall series in terms of Charlotte's characterization, the larger Moriarty problem, Livia and Stephen Marbleton's love affair, or even Charlotte's relationships with her family and friends. Aside from some sweet romantic moments between Charlotte and Ash, this one, as with the fourth book, felt like it was treading water.
I've always enjoyed procedurals in the mystery genre, but I did struggle here to feel much engaged with the sussing out of the who-done-it and why of this story. The revelations at the end struck me as less than exciting, and I kept waiting for more to come to the mystery, though it never did. I think I may have felt unusually annoyed too by the frequent reminders from others than Holmes knew more and had already solved the case. Plenty of clues are held back from readers, which put us in the dark more often than not, even while elevating Charlotte to mastermind level of intellect. I did though quite enjoy the development of the Treadles and their marriage.
Moriarty is dangled in front of us again as an uber threat, and his shadowy presence in this series is certainly heightening the suspense. Ash insinuates that Charlotte is a threat to Moriarty now and needs to be on guard for her safety going forward. That sounds exciting and promising, as too much of this book involved Charlotte snacking on carbs while mulling over notes. I wouldn't mind a bit of action in the next one. This book features familiar themes of collaboration between Charlotte and her circle of friends and family. There is some progress here on the romance front between Charlotte and Ash, largely because Ash - for reasons not entirely clear - has decided he's ready to set aside his insecurities and caution and declare his love for her. Of more interest to me in this book though is the haunting melancholy of Livia's solitary life. With Marbleton vanished and her sequestration in her parent's home, her story touched me and I found myself waiting for chapters to return to her. Her story reminded me of Thomas's ability to create heart-wrenching characters and plots, and I hope Livia plays a bigger role in the next book.
I am so in love with the Lady Sherlock series, I can't possibly express my feelings for it no matter what I say. I had high hopes for Murder on Cold Street and once again, Sherry Thomas delivered with just the story I was expecting.
If you want my opinion on these characters, please check out my previous reviews. I don't want to be too repetitive so I won't dwell on the characterizations but know that Sherry Thomas is a master at what she does. With every book, I fall further and further in love with Charlotte and every facet of her personality. Though she remained whip-smart and quirky, we also begin to see her try to understand her emotional side more. Lord Ingram, my fictional husband, also continued to be the steadfast support that Charlotte needed not only in her investigations, but also her life in general. Charlotte's relationship with a certain beau that has a strong foundation in their friendship continued to be the highlight of this series for me. In Murder on Cold Street, we finally (FINALLY!) see some progress in the relationship. They have been dancing around each other for 4 books now and I think Murder On Cold Street took that relationship one step further. When I say that I want to fangirl scream whenever the two even share a touch or a gaze, I'm not even exaggerating - I just love them so much. This has quite possibly been one of the most deliciously torturous ship, but it has been truly worth the patience for me. Only Sherry Thomas could have gotten me this invested in this relationship.
Moving on from the romance ... I've enjoyed all the mysteries in this series, but the one in Murder On Cold Street is my favorite so far. The case had Charlotte and her friends working together to help Inspector Treadles, who has been accused of murder. It was my favorite case for two reasons 1) readers were presented with the opportunity to learn about Inspector Treadles and his life and 2) the locked room case was one full of unexpected, but cleverly crafted twists. I am in constantly in awe of Sherry Thomas' mind and in this one my face throughout entire book closely resembled the mind-blown emoji: 🤯! I was also pleasantly surprised by the character of Mrs. Treadles, Inspector Treadles' wife, who proved to be a fascinating character with her own strengths and secrets to rival those of Charlotte. We see terrific growth from her and I hope we do see her again down the line.
While each book does feature its own mystery, there's an overarching plotline that involves Moriarty. Therefore, I don't recommend reading these books out of order. Plus, readers will certainly miss out on some impressive character and relationship development. Murder on Cold Street ended on an exciting note for me, and I'm eager to see where the Moriarty storyline is heading. Knowing Sherry Thomas, it's bound to be mind-blowing and I can't wait.
Series: Lady Sherlock #5 Publication Date: 10/6/20 Number of Pages: 304
I love this series and this book is a wonderful addition to it. I’d like to start by saying that it is my opinion that you need to read this entire series, in order, from beginning to end because Charlotte is a very complex character and her relationships are just as complex – if you don’t read from the beginning you won’t understand her or what drives her. If you start in the middle, you’ll definitely have a different view of her than you would had you begun at the beginning. I believe I have read somewhere that this is to be a ten-book series and this is book five, so we are right in the middle. Each book has an individual mystery which is solved within that book, but there is an overarching mystery with Moriarty – I can’t wait to see that solution, but then the series will be over and I’ll be very sad about that.
Inspector Robert Treadles is definitely a man of his time and place – Victorian England. He firmly believes that it is the role of the male to be the breadwinner, the one in charge – and it is the woman’s role to care for the home and to follow the male’s lead. Those beliefs have been sorely challenged since his association with Charlotte Holmes and his wife’s inheritance of a large manufacturing company. Even in the beginning of their relationship, he was never comfortable with his wife’s higher social standing and wealth – but when she inherited the company – and then decided to actively manage it – well, he wasn’t exactly as supportive as he could have been. Then, several months ago, he started trying to be more supportive. What happened to change his mind and attitude?
This fast-paced, well-written, and exciting mystery begins with Mrs. Treadles paying a visit to the home of Mrs. Watson to speak with Charlotte Holmes – sister to the famed detective Sherlock Holmes. Mrs. Treadles needs Sherlock’s assistance to prove her husband’s innocence because he’s been found in a locked room with two murdered men – and his service revolver. Inspector Treadles won’t explain what happened, not even to his wife. She’s sure he’s innocent – but the evidence is overwhelming. Can Holmes find the evidence to prove him innocent? Or – is he guilty?
The investigation involves the entire cast of recurring characters and unearths things from the past that will haunt Mrs. Treadles, Inspector Treadles and the families of the victims for a very long time. Then, there is Moriarty. Did he have a hand in what happened? Is Holmes any closer to unmasking him?
I loved the growth in the relationship between Charlotte and Lord Ingram. It seems that they are both finally coming to grips with it. I also loved that Charlotte is becoming more caring – more human, rather than totally dispassionate. I can’t wait to see where she goes in the remaining books of the series. What bothered me with the book was the end was just there – suddenly – out of the blue – WHAM – and that solution was so totally improbable. It didn’t keep me from enjoying the book, it just seemed a bit convoluted.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope you will as well.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Another good novel in an inventive series. I do love a good Sherlock Holmes retelling and this series is one of the more creative in this genre.
Sherlock as the pseudonym, or fictitious brother, of Charlotte Holmes, a disgraced fallen woman makes this a really interesting series. Her sidekick and former stage actress, Lady Watson, is refreshing as well. This Watson is less of a lackey and more of a sleuth in her own right. Together, the two take on crime-solving in Victorian England in their own unique way. I like that the characters are strong women who do not sacrifice, but rather embrace, their own femininity.
This is a lighthearted romp for any cozy mystery lover.
I'm honestly a sucker for this series. I feel like every book just gets better and better. Whether it's the overall mystery, romance, or just the characters themselves. So, it should be no shock as to why I devoured the Murder on Cold Street so freaking quickly. I'll admit that I did want to take things slowly at first, but I just couldn't help it.
This had a lot of fun twists throughout the book. Especially when it came to the Inspector being arrested for murder. Of course, it made me think that this was way too obvious and that someone or something else was behind it all. We just needed Charlotte to figure it all out and save the day. Which, yes, I loved how she pieced things together towards the end. The dinner where they are all talking and trying to make sense of the situation was pretty easy to follow. It also made me hungry.
Other than that, I really enjoyed watching Ingram and Charlotte continue their little dance around one another. We are getting more kisses and romantic touches/feelings between them which makes me happy. Then there's the gift exchange they did towards the end which was really freaking cute.
In the end, I'm a little worried about what will happen next, but I'm also really excited to find out.
“We women have been taught since birth that virtue is our greatest asset. I have nothing against virtues—I’d like to think that there are many virtues I practice assiduously. But power does not yield to virtue. Power yields only to power.”
MURDER ON COLD STREET This series has me all over the place with my thoughts. Book four, The Art of Theft was not my favorite but that ending convinced me to keep going. Murder on Cold Street by Sherry Thomas is book five in the Lady Sherlock Series and Inspector Treadles has been arrested!! He was found in a locked room with two murder victims. Both of these men worked for his wife’s company that she inherited. The speculations are endless but unless Charlotte can come up with a solution, then Inspector Treadles will be tried for murder, a crime she is sure he did not commit…
Well, at least the amount of weight and Charlotte’s number of chins discussions has gone down. But the food…if we took out half of the food description the audiobook would have been thirty minutes shorter. It adds absolutely nothing to the story. And trust me, I LOVE cake. But I like cake with positivity, not negativity.
However, we get to know more about Inspector Treadles and his wife. There are a few plotlines with them in previous books but I have always wanted to know more! Treadles have always been conflicted about Mrs. Treadles inheriting a business, but she has been treated horribly because she is a woman in a man’s role. It was wonderful to see Treadles grow and see how women can also have a more vital role in society.
Then there is Lord Ingram and Charlotte. They have a unique relationship to be sure. The chemistry is just off. It often feels one-sided and has little depth. Currently, the emotions feel very surface level. Unfortunately, the pacing is rather slow in this book and everyone is lying. It gets to the point where even Charlotte is oblivious to the obvious. I will keep going to the next book, but I do hope it is not as predictable as this one. I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.
Murder on Cold Street was my first introduction to the Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas. I enjoyed the book overall, but at times I was overwhelmed and confused. I suspect it is because some of the characters were from earlier books in the series and I had no familiarity with their backstory. My plan is to go back and start from book one. I like that this was historical fiction and murder mystery sprinkled with a bit of romance. The writing was beautiful, the story was fast-paced and layered. I appreciated that the author incorporated themes of colonialism, racism, privilege and gender issues seamlessly and effortlessly into the story. I very much look forward to reading more of Lady Sherlock series.
I've thought for days what to say about Murder on Cold Street which I didn't enjoy and could have easily put down and marked it DNF. Yes! I mean that wholeheartedly. I thought this an absolute bore. From the beginning when Mrs. Treadles lunges through Mrs. Watson's door to announce her husband's arrest for murders to "The Who and Whys" and the mystery solved I was bored. First off I am still disgruntled about the last "heist" mystery and what happened to Mr. Marbleton. Second, unlike some readers I don't read this series looking for a romance nor do I need Charlotte and Ash to get together. Thomas has expertly balanced their dynamic through four books, but all of a sudden Lord Ingram is keen and Charlotte is backing off after aggressively pursuing a sexual relationship with him since day one. I found their romantic intervals mostly insipid and I wondered if the author felt pressured by her "fans" to give them some "sexy times" because it seemed out of character for them to be so chatty and demonstrative about their feelings. Towards the end of the last book Ash goes back into the Chateau to look for/save Lady Ingram, but then shortly returns saying something along these lines: "I don't need to always be the one to do the saving". That seemed to mark a change in his thinking about his marriage and the end of it because of Lady Ingram's betrayal, but his sudden change of heart towards having some kind of romantic relationship with Charlotte is too rushed, especially considering that he is a devoted father and Charlotte is totally ruined in Society. Now the mystery plot of this story is not rushed, in fact it is painfully slow and unlike the other mystery plots totally uninteresting. Everyone is keeping things close or lying including the Treadles which was odd considering how they are characterized as upright honest individuals in the previous books. The vagueness and lack of involvement of Scotland Yard stands out and Robert's silence just doesn't make any sense until it does and that little "spoiler" really irked me. The details of tea and Charlotte's flamboyant sartorial and appetite preferences seems like a lot of silly filler and like the last book everyone seems to act "out of character". The structure and character building so neatly contrived in the first three books has disappeared and I noticed and missed it very much. My thought is that Sherlock will probably conveniently die from his mystery ailment in the next book or so which is really too bad, because the original format is compelling. I liked the partnership of Mrs Watson and Charlotte in the guise of housekeeper and sister to Sherlock, but Lord Ingram seems to have replaced Watson as Charlotte's active partner. All of a sudden these competent women need a man to navigate the investigation? Inspector Robert Treadles is accused of murdering two men who who work for his wife Alice at her company Cousins Manufacturing. One man is an older friend and associate of her late father and the other a vile younger man who preys on women. He is found behind a locked door holding a gun with the victims dead from gunshot wounds in a bedroom of a house next-door to one of the victims. It's convoluted, but it was pretty obvious to me what happened and why, but unfortunately the author's telling is very uninspired. Charlotte uses her troops to spread out and interview all the liars/witnesses and still miraculously unravels the mystery without much thought or cooperation. In between there are little chapters of Olivia in her oppressive home life with her abominable parents which is exacerbated by money sent from Charlotte. I don't understand why Olivia is still stuck with the parents. One sister was rescued, why not Olivia too. Why give Lady Holmes the fifty pounds? Charlotte could have given the money directly to Olivia to fund her way to freedom. This is where Thomas irks me, she gives the reader "social lessons" in Victorian Era racism and sexism, but denies Olivia any justice, she is kept confined and is let out only by means of deception while Alice and Louise a biracial female character live freely in their lives and professions, albeit mostly a hostile and unaccepting society, but at least they live freely. The book just didn't do it for me, I was uninterested. Treadles is not a very sympathetic character anyway and in this he's just a plot device to move the Moriarty thread along its vague and inconsistent thread.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.